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Press Release: Auburn awarded grant for single-stream recycling education, additional carts

AUBURN, Ala.- The rollout of the single-stream recycling program is complete, and the City of Auburn is moving on to the next step of the process, engaging and educating residents, with the help of The Recycling Partnership.

“Now that the carts are out, our next goal is to make sure Auburn’s single-stream recycling program is as successful as possible, and a large part of that will be accomplished through educating residents,” said Tim Woody, the City of Auburn’s Environmental Services director. “Thanks to The Recycling Partnership, we have ample resources to effectively reach our customers in several different ways.”

The Auburn City Council approved an agreement with The Recycling Partnership for a $175,000 grant at its Feb. 19 meeting. The funds will be used in two phases, the first of which will focus on engaging and educating new single-stream program participants and re-engaging longtime recyclers. The City will reach out through direct mailers, social media, cart tags and other avenues to help spread the word about what can and cannot go in single-stream recycling carts. The second phase will include the purchase of up to 2,000 new carts and associated educational materials. The partnership will also offer in-kind services valued at $150,000.

“The Recycling Partnership, with support from Coca-Cola, will assist the City of Auburn with increasing recycling in the community by helping to provide recycling carts for Auburn residents that currently don’t have a cart,” said Jill Martin, The Recycling Partnership’s vice president of technical assistance. “In addition, we will help provide Auburn with education and outreach tools to encourage residents to participate in the program and recycle only the materials that should be recycled—all through a $175,000 grant.”

Single-stream recycling carts provide an avenue for residents to recycle valuable items, rather than throw would-be recyclables out in the trash. This reduction of curbside garbage volume equates to lower landfill and waste collection costs for cities.

“By throwing materials in recycling carts rather than in the garbage, the city has less garbage to pay for when throwing away. In communities that are responsible for paying for their garbage going to a landfill, that is a big savings,” Martin said. “For every 100 tons of garbage that doesn’t have to be tipped at a landfill, with a fee of $26.05 per ton, that’s a savings of $2,600 dollars. That adds up.”

The City of Auburn Environmental Services Department began delivering the first round of 5,600 single-stream carts in December 2017. The department then distributed another 7,000 carts in the second phase, which began in December 2018. All 12,600 carts were purchase using grants from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, totaling $638,000.

“Coca-Cola is proud to be partnering with the City of Auburn and The Recycling Partnership on such an important community-wide initiative with long-term impact,” said Allen Smoot, Deep South division director for Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED. “At Coca-Cola, our vision for a ‘world without waste’ is only possible in partnership with the cities and communities where we live and work, as well as with dedicated organizations like The Recycling Partnership.”

For more information about the City of Auburn’s single-stream recycling program, visit auburnalabama.org/garbage-and-recycling.